NSO awarded $500,000 challenge grant


This drawing shows the new NSO building will face west, fronting Walker Avenue.

Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO) was recently issued a $500,000 challenge grant from the Tulsa-based Mabee Foundation.

The money supports a $2.5 million capital campaign by faith-based NSO, which serves the at-risk and homeless population in Oklahoma City. The agency’s Methodist connection dates back almost 100 years.

The grant is contingent upon NSO raising the project’s remaining balance – $700,000 – by July 1, 2014.

The purpose of the capital campaign is to construct a new facility to replace NSO’s former home, in an aged Methodist church building at Southwest 11th Street and Walker Avenue. The agency’s offices and dental clinic were forced to relocate in 2012 when an engineering assessment deemed the property unsafe.

A modern, one-story structure will greatly expand NSO’s dental clinic, which serves about 2,000 clients a year and performs 6,000 procedures. The new clinic will be five times larger and feature five exam rooms, a large waiting area, lab, sterile room, offices, and a patient restroom.

Volunteers leading the campaign include: Sam Bowman, retired city councilman and the campaign chairperson; Jim Gragg, retired United Methodist minister and campaign co-chair; and NSO President Stacey Ninness.

Other United Methodists on the campaign council include: Bill Junk, president of the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation; Donna Roberts, a past president of Oklahoma Conference United Methodist Women; and Don and Mary Sherman, with McClain Bank.

The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation was formed in 1948 to aid Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals, and other organizations of a general charitable nature.

Among NSO’s other programs are transitional housing for persons who need help gaining independence, permanent housing for homeless adults with a mental illness, rental assistance, and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) clinics.

For information about the campaign, contact Ninness, 405-236-0452, ext. 302. A related video is at www.nsookc.org.

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